Raise your hand if you thought that Univision, of all outlets, would defy politically correct media convention and be the most factually accurate when it came to covering the utterances made by the shooter upon his arrest in Fresno, California. Shockingly, this is exactly what happened.
This is how correspondent Andrea Linares described the shooter's utterance on the network's late-night national newscast:
ANDREA LINARES, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: At the moment of his arrest, the gunman shouted 'Allahu Akbar' - Allah is the greatest - an expression of faith among islamists.
What Linares did here is the exact opposite of the willful obfuscation we saw throughout large swaths of the rest of the media - as exemplified by the AP's grotesque sanitizing and repackaging of the shooter's utterance. There are three unique things to watch for here.
First: Linares did not translate "Allahu Akbar" into Spanish, and instead gave an exact quote of what is known in Islam as the takbir. Second: After quoting the takbir, Linares proceeded to translate its meaning into Spanish. It bears noting that Linares tendered a precise translation rather than the anodyne sanitizing of the takbir we've seen elsewhere. Finally, Linares explained what the takbir is to those who utter it.
Even within Univision, there seemed to be some initial uncertainty as to how to cover the utterance of the takbir. On the network's early evening newscast, anchor María Elena Salinas took a modified AP route, by saying that the shooter "shouted that 'God is great' - in Arabic".
One suspects, given Univision's editorial line, that Linares now might be in for some remedial training on how to cover utterances of the takbir going forward. Instead, she should be commended for her honest coverage of an utterance that, in so many instances, has become the equivalent of yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.
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